MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Myrtle Beach Police say two people died Wednesday after apparent falls from a floor of a motel near 20th Avenue North.
Horry County Coroner Robert Edge says the two who died after the falls are Daniela Alejandra Arriaza Flores, 16 and 17-year-old Amber Franco. The cause of death for both teens is massive trauma from a fall.
Flores and Franco were both students at Myrtle Beach High School.
“Our teachers were just as devastated by this as our students were,” said Myrtle Beach High School Principal, John Washburn. “As you can imagine, all of us, they become our children, every single one of them. There were several that were deeply affected by it.”
Washburn said both girls were in honors classes and were well-liked. Councelors were brought in to the school on Thursday and will continue to be available for students and teachers.
“We did lose some very valuable young people and it was heartbreaking,” added Washburn. “So we want to make sure that we continue to support those students and help them learn as they move forward with it.”
While speaking with the media Thursday afternoon, Washburn noted that Flores was very involved in theater at the school and always had a positive attitude as a leader with the theater group. Franco, while she had only been at Myrtle Beach High School since November, was well-liked with numerous friends.
Many students asked the administration on Thursday if a memorial would be planned for the two young women. Washburn said it could happen sometime after spring break next week.
“We want any sort of memorial or recognition to be theirs,” he added. “We want it to be something they come up with, something they organize and something they lead. We think that’s important. It’s important for the healing process.
According to Lt. Joey Crosby with the department, officers were called to Camelot By The Sea, located at 2000 North Ocean Boulevard, at 3:46 p.m. Wednesday. When officers arrived, they discovered two people deceased from apparent falls from one of the hotel floors. Lt. Crosby could not release from which floor the individuals fell.
Horry County Schools Spokesperson Teal Britton confirmed in a statement Thursday that the two teen girls were students at Myrtle Beach High School, and that counselors are being brought to the school Thursday to help classmates cope with the sudden news.
“The principal, John Washburn, along with his staff and a crisis response team of additional counselors, are very involved following the protocols of notification and addressing to the needs of students as they process the shocking and heartbreaking news about the loss of two classmates,” Britton writes in the release.
Washburn said he was notified about the deaths after police identified one of the girls by her student I.D. He said parts of the investigation are ongoing and the school is working with police in any way they can.
“We’re going to cooperate with them as much as we possibly can to provide them whatever they need,” he added.